“Twitter Sucks” For Brand Engagement: Mark Ritson

Mark Ritson, Marketing professor and award winning columnist, speaking at National Radio Conference 2016

Marketing professor and award-winning columnist Mark Ritson was at his provocative best at this year’s National Radio Conference, bringing social media down a couple of pegs and providing some words of wisdom on how the radio industry should prepare for the threat of digital media in 2017.

Ritson began his presentation by noting that “Twitter sucks” when brands use it to try and engage customers (B&T offered Twitter the right of reply to this comment but declined).

“It’s not as impressive as we’ve been led to believe in the media,” he said.

“I think social media is a social media. I think for me and you, it’s a tremendous medium, [but] I think when brands get involved it’s a very bad fit.

According to research commissioned by Ritson and conducted by the Online Research Unit,  64 per cent of Aussies don’t follow any brands on social media.

“Social media has been built up so big in Australia that we overstate it to some degree, but perception is reality when you’re dealing with advertising budgets and marketers,” he said.

In contrast, Ritson said radio has always been – and remains – a medium designed for brands.

“It’s DNA is interlinked with brands, with sponsorships, and with consumers to some degree welcoming brands into the radio medium,” he said.

“Radio is a vibrant and successful social medium, but it’s not being sold as well as it could be against what’s frankly this gigantic force of bullshit that represents digital.

“When the tsunami of digital bullshit which is digital video properly crashes into the shores of Australia, radio – like all the other non-digital mediums – will find itself in a tsunami of nonsense – a tsunami of numbers which will befuddle and entrance clients.”

Ritson urged the radio industry to get out of the silo of being seen as traditional and not digital, or risk being in the same amount of trouble as TV and newspapers.

“You know how this narrative plays out,” he said.

“The new age of digital marketing sets up a dynamic where digital is awesome – maximum people, immediate communication, versatile – and traditional media like radio is just shit, basically – limited audience, bad signalling, delayed communication. This is how clients are increasingly thinking out there – ‘we want digital, we don’t want traditional’.”

According to Ritson, there are four reasons why radio needs to kill the traditional versus digital mentality:

  • Traditional is becoming digital.
  • Digital is becoming traditional.
  • It’s killing strategy (he believes the versus mentality is forcing marketers to look at the idea that it’s tactics over strategy)
  • It’s about “and” and not “versus” (he believes that radio plays well with others, and recommends marketing it as the great multi-player).

Ritson then offered the radio industry the following points of advice for 2017:

  • It’s going to get extraordinarily bumpy

“There’s no doubt about it [that] this will be the most volatile year of your careers, and the reason should be simple: when two relatively new players in Facebook and Google are about to take almost half of all advertising spend in Australia, and they didn’t exist 10 years ago, that volatility is unavoidable,” he said.

  • Don’t let anyone put you in the traditional bucket

“It’s bad, lazy thinking,” Ritson said. “Traditional means nothing – push back against it if you can.”

  • Emphasise the simplicity and independence of industry research group Gfk

“One of the things that’s going to happen next year is that Facebook and Google will be grading their own homework and clearly getting [it] wrong and not showing us the answers, [which] will become more and more a source of tension,” he said.

“The transparency and simplicity of radio metrics is should not be underestimated.”

  • Challenge the numbers from your digital rivals

“Most of them are wobbly, [and] some of them aren’t even true,” Ritson said.

“Push – squeeze on those numbers, because some of them need to be pushed, and frankly no one’s pushing on them at the moment.”

  • Play the and game rather than the versus game

“Radio wins when it works with rather than against, and that would suit I think the long-term potential of the medium,” he said.

  • Don’t sell radio like it’s social media

“It’s too good for that,” Ritson said. “Radio’s strength is its unique differences from other media – play radio as a separate entity.”

  • Remember how good for brands radio is

“Remember how it’s a much more natural fit for brands to work their magic with editorial, with reach, with interaction, with proximity to the place of purchase,” he said.

And Ritson’s final point for the radio industry… “remember that you’re definitely not f**ked”.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau law firm National Radio Conference 2016

Latest News

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom
  • Technology

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom

Twitter has just experienced its fastest growth in revenue since 2014, with the social media platform benefiting from increased interest from advertisers. Revenue was up 74 per cent YoY, according to the company’s Q2 results, reaching $US1.19 billion ($1.6 billion) from $US683.4 million ($925 million) 12 months ago. The strong results came in the same […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey

Wild Turkey has announced the launch of its new global creative campaign and platform, ‘Trust Your Spirit’, featuring the brand’s creative director and spokesperson, Matthew McConaughey. The global campaign and platform ‘Trust Your Spirit’ is to encourage people to be bold, unapologetically themselves, and stay true to who they are. The global tagline and ethos […]

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign

Telecommunications company Optus has announced it will launch the world’s first TikTok sign-language activated filter. Featuring Optus ambassador Ian Thorpe, Optus will unveil a branded effect that shows TikTok users how to say key phrases in Auslan sign language, including ‘How are you?’ and ‘It starts with Yes’, through the hashtag challenge #SignYes. Optus will […]

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF
  • Campaigns

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF

Asia Pacific’s leading provider of vehicle parts, accessories, equipment, service and solutions, Bapcor will launch its latest campaign, ‘The unseen parts of every Australian journey’ this weekend.

Professional microphone in radio studio
  • Advertising
  • Media

Podsight’s Benchmark Report Shows Podcast Advertising More Effective Than Other Digital Channels

Podsights has revealed new insights into the effectiveness of advertising in podcasts, tracking global and Australian podcast advertising trends. This is the first Australian report to be published since ARN partnered with Podsights to set the standard for best-in-class podcast advertising measurement. The report includes additional analysis and follows a series of Measurement Masterclasses held for […]

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life
  • Campaigns

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life

NGEN’s 2021 charity cup has raised over $175,000 for UnLtd charity partner Gotcha4Life. Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation raising awareness and funding to provide educational workshops and innovative programs that build mental fitness in individuals and communities. While Sydney and Brisbane completed the Charity Cup in June, before Covid restrictions hit, the final leg in […]

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge
  • Campaigns

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge

Australian tech incubator Cicada Innovations and Biennale of Sydney are launching the ‘New & Sustainable Materials Challenge,’ in an effort to create a more sustainable future. The works of chosen material-makers will be showcased to millions of Biennale audiences, exhibition partners, and exhibition makers globally. The Challenge is open to any Australian and UK startups, […]